Third period breakdown dooms Beavers
Saturday, December 12, 2009

DULUTH, Minn. — After playing two hard-fought periods, a third period debacle ended the Bemidji State’s women’s hockey team’s hopes of an upset over the No. 5 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. The game was tied 1-1 going into the third, but by the end of the third the Bulldogs would walk away with a 4-1 victory.

“We wanted to be close going into the third,” said head coach Steve Sertich. “If you can be tied on the road against a team like UMD it’s a good thing. We broke down a couple of times there in the third and as a result they found the back of the net.”

With the loss Bemidji State drops to 6-11-2 (5-6-2-2 WCHA) while Duluth improves to 13-7-1 (9-5-1-1 WCHA).

The Bulldogs would open up the scoring in the first period. Kacy Ambroz and Vanessa Thibault had a two-on-one opportunity forcing Zuzana Tomcikova (So., Bratislava, Slovakia) to make an excellent save. However, Tara Gray picked up the rebound in the slot and Gray put the puck in the back of the net to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead halfway through the opening period.

The Beavers didn’t back down and kept up the pressure. Franny Dorr (Sr., Roseville, Minn.) dished out a centering pass to find Erin Johnson (Jr., Farmington, Minn.) for an open shot. Unfortunately, UMD tender Jennifer Harss would deny Johnson, smothering the shot for a faceoff.

Closing out the final minutes of the second period, BSU would find the goal they were looking for. Emily Erickson (R-Fr., Coleraine, Minn.) connected with Erin Cody (Jr., Roseville, Minn.) with 2:37 left in the period to equalize the score. Sadie Lundquist (Fr., Cloquet, Minn.) was also credited with an assist on the goal.

The first half would end with a 1-1 score. BSU dominated the faceoffs winning eight of 11 in the period.

UMD came out firing in the second. They peppered Tomcikova with 15 shots in the period.

Duluth would go on the penalty kill for tripping halfway through the second, but BSU would be unsuccessful on the opportunity.

Tomcikova picked up her first-career penalty for a tripping call with 4:45 left in the second forcing BSU to go on the PK. Bemidji State’s penalty-kill unit went on to successfully kill off the penalty.

Bemidji State started the third period on the power play. However, the BSU power play would come up short for a second time in the game.

The Bulldogs went on to take back the lead 3-1 behind goals by Emmanuelle Blais and Katherin Wilson.

BSU then had a chance to cut the lead to one off a scramble in front of the net, but Harss would deny the Beaver forwards. On the scramble Lundquist got called for roughing and went to the box for two minutes.

Before the Beavers could kill off Lundquist’s penalty, Cody got called for tripping and Bemidji State was forced to kill off a five-on-three power play for 24 seconds.

A late turnover by the Beavers resulted in a fourth and final goal for UMD. BSU had three turnovers in the third period all resulting in goals for Duluth.

Tomcikova had 34 saves on 38 shots in the game.

Bemidji State’s penalty-kill unit hasn’t allowed a goal in over 180 minutes. The last power-play goal scored against BSU was on Nov. 21 in the second period against the University of Minnesota. Since that goal, Bemidji State has successfully killed off 14 straight penalties.

Erin Cody has scored a goal in the past three games for the Beavers, and Sadie Lundquist has notched four assists in the past two games.

The game marks the 34th consecutive loss to the Bulldogs.

The Beavers will return tomorrow at 3:07 to finish off the series against Minnesota Duluth. After Sunday Bemidji State will take a break for the remainder of the calendar year and will be back on Jan. 8-9 against Minnesota State.